April 2010

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Apr

01

2010

Launchy: The Open Source Keystroke Launcher




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This is one of the biggest things I missed about being back XP, that both Linux and Windows 7 have: opening applications with the keyboard. Having gotten used to it, it was hard to be without it. Launchy is pretty cool.


Apr

02

2010

The Goodness of Good Friday

I never used to know why Good Friday was called "good" Friday. It did not seem good at all. From the perspective of the world, "good" Friday was a complete failure, a tragedy, the death of a "great man". It was just another of many examples of the powerful oppressing the innocent and weak. The righteous was put to death, and the guilty went free (Barabbas). Horrible. Tragic.

Yet, when seen through the lens of Sunday when the Lord had risen from the dead, this tragedy became a glorious tragedy. That which appeared horrendous turned out to be beautiful. Jesus was paying the price for sin he had not committed. Jesus stepped in the way to take the punishment that we deserved, so that we could go free and be reconciled to God—or rather, have God reconciled toward us. His rising from the grave on Sunday killed death itself, proving he had completed his work; and thus it also proves the nature of his death: it was a death of substitution, in our place, not because he deserved it, but because we deserved it.

Looking at it from Friday, we might think, "That shouldn't have happened to him." Looking at it from Sunday, we realize, "That should have happened to me!"

That is why it is good. That is why it is a glorious tragedy. Our hands better fly to cover our mouths at the awesome solemnity of the Son of God being punished for us. Yet none of us object, because that is our only hope of escaping the very same sentence of divine wrath, and of being rescued into eternal glory—"so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus." (Eph 2:7)

He lives! Turn to him and be saved, all the ends of the earth!

Apr

02

2010

An Interview with D.A. Carson on Gospel-Centeredness – Justin Taylor

Justin Buzzard has a good, brief interview here with Don Carson about gospel-centeredness. Dr. Carson explains what it means to lead a gospel-centered life, explains why he’s encouraged by the twentysomething generation in the American church, and offers counsel for those wanting to recover the gospel in unchurched areas.

Below is the final question (on recommended resources on gospel-centeredness). I’ve taken the liberty of adding a few links:

...

via thegospelcoalition.org

Apr

04

2010

Why John Piper Should Not Have Invited Rick Warren

So John Piper has asked Rick Warren to speak at this year's Desiring God National Conference, Think: The Life of the Mind and the Love of God. You may have heard about this, either through buzz in the blogosphere or even from Piper himself in his recent Ask Pastor John session. I have known this for some time now as Warren told me himself when I visited Saddleback last September. So I have had a long time to reflect on it. And having done so, I am persuaded that it is not a good idea.

via challies.com

Not a huge fan of controversy. Yet, I think this is a very fair and judicious commentary.

Apr

05

2010

A Great Dilemma

There is a common pattern of gospel presentations that hinge on a dilemma. You might have heard it or used it. It goes something like this: God is a holy God who must punish sinners (which all men are), but God also is a loving God who wants to bestow blessing and good. On the one hand, God must punish us, and on the other hand God wants to love us.

Here is the hinge: Whatever is God to do?

Here is the answer: God solved this problem through the person of Jesus Christ.

I have shared the gospel this way for a long time. It suddenly hit me just now that while the tension drawn between these two points is real, I wonder if presenting this tension as a dilemma is the most helpful or accurate.

That it is a real tension, look up Romans 3:26 which says Christ came to die for our sins "so that he [God] might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus." It is "just justification" or "justified justification". [i.e. We are declared righteous and accepted by God in a way that does not compromise his righteousness / justice.] Thus, there is tension between these two points. The cross is the glorious intersection between the holiness of God and the love of God. The demand of justice is satisfied in executing its punishment, and the demand of love is satisfied in providing life eternal freely to all who receive it.

Here is my problem: While the Bible does say God had to be just in his justification of sinners, it does not present God as being in some kind of dilemma about it. I think this presentation is also not very helpful in that it takes focus away from the real problem: that of the listener.  Rather than presenting God as having a difficult predicament, much more the Bible presents man as being in a difficult, impossible predicament. 

Here is the real dilemma: Whatever am I to do, a desperate sinner under the judgment of God?

The real problem is that we have sinned against God and we are wicked to the core. Not only our actions and words and even thoughts are evil, but they are all flowing out of a wicked disposition. This combined with God's perfect righteousness spells out trouble for us. We stand utterly guilty before the Judge. This is the problem God solved through Christ.

The listener should not come out thinking, "Whew, I'm glad God solved that problem of his!" He should come out thinking, "Wow, God solved my problem by extending mercy to me in Christ!" 

Before we talk about the cross, the listener should be feeling desperate, feeling the weight of his sin, the sureness and seriousness of God's coming wrath, thinking, "Woe is me! I am lost!" It is then and only then, that the news of the cross will be heard as good news! The cross is the solution to our dilemma, much more than it is a solution to God's.

Apr

07

2010

Google desktop has too many shortcuts

Have you ever felt that Google Desktop has too many shortcuts? This article shows how to disable some of them to free them up for other programs.

Apr

07

2010

A Great Dilemma (pt. 2)

I read an article yesterday by J. I. Packer called "What Did the Cross Achieve?" which seems to echo the same sentiment as my previous post about what the true dilemma is.

Surely the primary issue with which penal substitution is concerned is neither the morality nor the rationality of God's ways, but with the remission of my sins; ...

That is the same point I tried to make in my previous post. He goes on (same sentence):

...and the primary function of the concept is to correlate my knowledge of being guilty before God with my knowledge that, on the other hand, no question of my ever being judged for my sins can now arise, and, on the other hand, that the risen Christ whom I am called to accept as Lord is none other than Jesus, who secured my immunity from judgment by bearing on the cross the penalty that was my due.

[J. I. Packer, "What Did the Cross Achieve?" in In My Place Condemned He Stood, (Wheaton: Crossway, 2007), 79.]

The subtitle of the article is "The Logic of Penal Substitution". Its purpose is to explain what is meant by penal substitution, and to argue that this is the primary and fundamental meaning of the death of Christ. It was a death of substitution, and it was to pay the penalty that was our due. Whatever else the cross was, it flows out of this one core.

He labors to show that penal substitution "be evaluated as a model setting forth the meaning of the atonement rather than its mechanics." (Ibid., 78) This is why he calls it a "model" and a "concept". There is an element of mystery with regard to the actual dynamic of what happened there. We are interested not in the mechanics, but the meaning.

I said in the previous post that there is a "real tension" between God's need to punish us and desire to save us. I do not mean that there is a tension in his attributes. I mean simply that "God had to be just in his justification of sinners". While this may have been a mystery to us, there was no dilemma in God's mind. The Bible seems to present God as freely providing exactly what was necessary to save us, not as in some dilemma as to what to do. (thinking of Eph 1:4-6, Eph 2:4-5, Rom 8:32, etc.)

What is concerned in our explanation of the gospel is not primarily to justify God's justification of us, but rather to proclaim that through Christ sinners can be justified, and urge sinners to see their plight outside of Christ. The main idea is not to prove God's morality, but to offer remission of sins.

Apr

09

2010

The Gospel in All its Forms

"The Gospel in All its Forms". Thought-provoking article by Tim Keller.

Apr

13

2010

Goodbye weRead, Hello LibraryThing

I was using weRead for sometime to track books I'd read, ratings and reviews of them and such. I have switched over to LibraryThing and like it much better. The way it lets you add books is much easier, it allows you more control over the book (e.g. changing the cover), and it just generally faster. It has a facebook app as well.

 

Check out my library thing!

 

Apr

15

2010

"Did Jesus Preach Paul's Gospel?" John Piper at t4g

T4G 2010 -- Session 6 -- John Piper from Together for the Gospel (T4G) on Vimeo.

"Yes." Great sermon. 

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Matt Hauck (郝柏昇)

A once enemy now son, forgiven and freed by Jesus' blood, adopted and called by grace for glory.   (more...)